A familiar face will be on the sidelines of The University of Dubuque football games in the fall.
Former Luther Head Coach Mike Durnin has been hired as Assistant Head Coach for the Spartans football team. Durnin joins the Spartans after being the head football coach at Luther College for the past five seasons. He will enter his 26th year in the coaching ranks and will be coaching the linebackers at UD. He resigned from Luther in November following an 0-10 season.
Durnin, a native of Milwaukee, Wis., replaces UD's offensive line coach, Drew Nystrom, who announced his departure at the end of December. Nystrom will join the University of Illinois football staff as a graduate assistant working the offensive line.
Durnin played collegiate ball at UW-La Crosse as a quarterback from 1977-80. His name is still peppered among the record books where he still holds the record for the most touchdown passes in a game (six versus UW-Whitewater on Nov. 3, 1979). In that contest, he threw for 424 yards, which still ranks third overall at the school.
"I am honored to join the University of Dubuque football coaching staff and to have the opportunity to be part of a coaching team that is building one of the up and coming programs in NCAA Division III," commented Durnin. "To be back working together with an exemplary head coach like Stan Zweifel was a key factor in my decision as well as having respect for what Athletic Director Dan Runkle and President Bullock have done with the athletic programs and facilities at UD."
Durnin began coaching with Zweifel at Minnesota State - Mankato under Head Coach Dan Runkle. The pair left Mankato for Yankton College, where they spent two seasons. Durnin moved on and spent seven years at University of Puget Sound (four years as defensive coordinator and three as offensive coordinator), two years at Illinois State (backfield coach/recruiting coordinator) and seven years at UW-La Crosse (defensive coordinator). During his coaching tenure at UW-La Crosse, teams qualified for the NCAA Division III post-season tournament four times.
"There are a lot of great leagues to coach in, I'm happy to remain in the Iowa Conference and to share my experiences and knowledge with this talented coaching staff," added Durnin. "I have coached and recruited in many different areas, and I already feel a great level of comfort with this coaching staff."
Durnin and his wife, Karen, have three daughters: Jena (son-in-law Josh Oeltjen), Krista and Caitlin and two grandchildren (Lillian and Philip).